Fifth-ranked West Liberty clinches 20-win season for 10th year in a row
WISE, Va. -- Cedric Harris handed out a Mountain East Conference record 16 assists and came up one rebound shy of his first career triple-double on Saturday afternoon as West Liberty clinched yet another 20-win season with a 105-92 win at Virginia-Wise.
Harris stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds and the Hilltoppers (20-1, 16-1) maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half against the scrappy Cavaliers (9-12, 6-11).
It was the 10th 20-win season in as many years at the helm for Jim Crutchfield, whose career winning percentage (261-46, .850) leads all NCAA men's coaches, but UVA-Wise made West Liberty work for it.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and the Hilltoppers never led until Seger Bonifant drained a 3-pointer for a 25-24 bulge with just more than eight minutes left in the first half.
A Harris 3-pointer put the Hilltoppers ahead to stay, 31-28, at the 6:37 mark and West Liberty eased out to a 54-46 halftime lead.
When Harris backed up another 3-point bomb with a 15-foot jumper to cap a 13-4 West Liberty run, the Hilltopper lead had swelled to 84-67 with just more than nine minutes remaining and WLU coasted the rest of the way.
Shawn Dyer led the West Liberty scoring parade with 25 points -- 20 of them coming during an impressive first-half performance. Devin Hoehn and C.J. Hester added 16 and 15 points, respectively.
No. 1 Metro State 66, Colorado Christian 60
LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Metro State survived a late scare to rally for a 66-61 win at Colorado Christian on Saturday night. The Roadrunners improved to 20-1 overall and 17-0 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with their 17th consecutive win, while CCU fell to 11-10 overall and 9-8 in the RMAC.
The Roadrunners blew a 20-point halftime lead as the Cougars led 59-56 with 2:44 to go. Raul Delgado tied the game with 1:05 remaining with a steal and a dunk and Mitch McCarron put Metro State back in front for good with a steal and a layup with 43 seconds to go.
Brandon Jefferson led the Roadrunners with 18 points, making all 10 of his free-throw attempts. McCarron scored 13 and had eight rebounds. But the team's two most consistent players all season combined to shoot just 8 of 24 with 11 turnovers, uncharacteristic for the pair. Despite their struggles, the two came through in the final, as Jefferson and McCarron scored six of the team's final seven points as Metro State outscored the Cougars 10-2 during the final 2:11.
Delgado and Nicholas Kay each had nine points, but Kay fouled out with 13:32 left in the game. Delgado came through in his absence hitting 3 of 4 off the bench.
No. 3 East Stroudsburg 93, Millersville 64
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- All-America junior guard Whis Grant had 22 points and a career-high nine rebounds, freshman forward Rasheed Moore added 17 points and East Stroudsburg (21-1, 11-1) rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 93-64 win against Millersville in PSAC East action on Saturday at Koehler Fieldhouse.
ESU fell 82-80 at Lock Haven on Thursday to end a school-record 20-game winning streak, but came back with a strong defensive effort to shut down the Marauders.
The victory was the 1,000th in program history, with ESU improving to 1,000-976 in its 87th season of basketball as a four-year institution. The Warriors are in the midst of the ninth 20-win season in program history, and fourth in the past five years, under head coach Jeff Wilson (204-128).
Grant scored 15 points in the first half as ESU led 49-30 at halftime. The Warriors had an 11-0 run midway through the first half, then another 11-0 run spanning halftime to put the game away.
The Warriors shot 52.2 percent from the field and 12-for-25 from beyond the 3-point line, led by Grant -- who was 7-for-9 overall and 5-for-6 from downtown. He came up one rebound shy of his first career double-double and went past the 1,300-point mark for his career.
No. 4 Drury 66, Illinois-Springfield 59
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Drury held off a late charge by Illinois-Springfield down the stretch to post a 66-59 victory against the Prairie Stars in their Great Lakes Valley Conference matchup Saturday afternoon at The Recreation and Athletic Center.
Kameron Bundy led four DU players in double-figures with 18 points as the Panthers wrapped up a four-game GLVC road swing with a 4-0 mark to improve to 20-1 overall and 12-1 in the GLVC.
It marks the eighth time in his 10 seasons at the helm thatcCoach Steve Hesser's defending national champion Panthers have won 20 or more games. And just like the previous three on this trip away from the friendly confines of the O'Reilly Family Event Center -- where DU has won 21 in a row -- this one didn't come easy by any stretch.
Drury grabbed a 37-27 halftime advantage, and led 58-44 with seven minutes to play before getting just two field goals -- both by Bundy -- the rest of the way as the Prairie Stars (7-14, 3-10) made a late surge.
UIS eventually cut it to five (64-59) on a layup by freshman Mark Weems with 17 seconds left, but Bundy hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left and Illinois-Springfield couldn't get any more shots to drop from there as the Panthers won for the 29th time in their past 30 games against a GLVC opponent.
No. 6 Florida Southern 94, Lynn 71
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Florida Southern used a 55-point second half scoring outburst and had two players score more than 20 points en route to collecting a 94-71 victory versus Lynn in Sunshine State Conference action at Jenkins Field House.
The win improved the Mocs to 20-2 overall and 9-2 in the SSC and extended its home court win streak to 17 consecutive games, while Lynn fell to 7-13 overall and 1-9 in the SSC. With the victory, the Mocs also achieved its seventh consecutive season of earning 20 wins and the 11th time in the past 13 seasons the Mocs have won at least 20 games in a season.
"To win 20 games in a season is a tremendous accomplishment, but to do for the past seven seasons is great for the guys and great for the team and for the players that have come before," Mocs coach Linc Darner said following his team's 23-point victory.
FSC's 17-game home court win streak is currently the fourth longest active streak in Division II as Central Missouri has the longest active streak at 24 games, while Daemen (N.Y.) is next at 23 games and Drury has the third longest streak at 21 games.
No. 7 Lincoln Memorial 92, Newberry 77
HARROGATE, Tenn. -- Lincoln Memorial withstood a 24-5 second-half run and Vincent Bailey notched his fourth consecutive double-double to ward off the Newberry Wolves 92-77 in South Atlantic Conference action on Saturday at Lincoln Memorial's Tex Turner Arena.
Lincoln Memorial (18-2, 14-2 SAC) rebounded from Wednesday's heartbreaking loss, which snapped the team's 13-game winning streak, while Newberry (14-6, 10-6 SAC) fell for the third time in its past nine games.
The Railsplitters finished shooting 52.2 percent in the game, going 36-for-69 from the field and 5-for-12 from beyond the 3-point arc. LMU's offensive output was aided by a 15-for-21 clip at the free-throw line. Senior Vincent Bailey led the Railsplitters in nearly all phases, pouring in a game-high 30 points while collecting a game-high 11 rebounds. Bailey was nearly perfect from the field, finishing 14-for-16 and 2-for-2 at the charity stripe. Saturday marked his fourth consecutive double-double and 10th of the season.
Five additional Railsplitters finished with double figures in the contest, as Chance Jones tallied 14 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 28 minutes. Tim Pierce went for 13 points and six rebounds, while Curtis McMillion and Luquon Choice notched 10 and 11 points respectively.
Along with Bailey, Lorenza Ross accumulated a double-double with 10 points and a season-high 10 assists. Ross's 10-assist outing tied for sixth in the school's single-game history, as he is the first to accomplish that feat since Kai Wells in 2007.
No. 8 Indianapolis 79, Missouri-St. Louis 58
ST. LOUIS -- Indianapolis (19-2, 11-2 GLVC) wrapped up its final out-of-state road trip of the regular season with a 79-58 trimumph at Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday evening. Senior Reece Cheatham led all scorers with 20 points, including 15 in the second half, to propel the Greyhounds to their seventh consecutive win.
"I thought tonight, especially in the second half, Reece really came out and helped us get over the hump," head coach Stan Gouard said. "I thought we got off the a slow start in the second half and his leadership on the basketball court, whether he's scoring or not, really goes a long way with this basketball team because everybody understands how mature he is as a person and as a player and when he speaks, everybody listens.
"He does a good job of playing within his means and not trying to do too much and taking what the defense gives him."
In a rematch of last year's GLVC Tournament opener, the Greyhounds led by double digits for the final 23 minutes of the game. They finished 27-for-47 (.574) from the field and have now defeated UMSL four consecutive times.
No. 9 Indiana (Pa.) 77, Seton Hill 51
INDIANA, Pa. -- Four players in double figures led Indiana (Pa.) to a blowout 77-51 win against Seton Hill in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play Saturday night at the Kovalchick Complex.
Shooting a season-high 57.1 percent from the floor, IUP dominated the Griffins in a rematch of their early season matchup which saw the Crimson Hawks scrape by with a 56-54 win.
Seton Hill got on the board first, getting up by three after just 43 seconds of play. IUP, however, would take control from that point forward, going on a 26-2 run during the next 13 minutes, holding the Griffins off the score sheet for nearly 10 minutes.
Heading into the half, the Crimson Hawks held a 25-point advantage, their largest margin of the season.
In the half, IUP held the Griffins to just 12 points, a mark that ranks third all-time for fewest points allowed in a half. IUP allowed just nine against UMBC on Dec. 28, 1982; 11 vs. California (Pa.) on Jan. 16, 1982; and 12 against St. Vincent on Dec. 9, 1981.
The Crimson Hawks top-ranked defense forced Seton Hill to shoot just 16.0 percent from the floor in the first half and just 14.3 percent from behind the arc. They also forced eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play.
No. 10 Montevallo 73, Clayton State 71
MONTEVALLO, Ala. -- Montevallo won its seventh consecutive game Saturday afternoon. Trailing in the final minute, Troran Brown hit four free throws to close out the game, and the Falcons rallied to beat the Clayton State Lakers 73-71.
Clayton State started off the game hot and led almost the entire first half. At one point, it had a 14-point lead against Montevallo.
The Falcons were able to rally toward the end of the half, though, and a buzzer beating layup by Brown made the gap just five as the teams went to the locker rooms.
After halftime, Montevallo quickly cut into the Clayton State lead, trailing by just one point a little more than a minute into the second frame.
However, the Falcons could not overtake the lead until there was just 6:07 remaining in regulation. They did not have the lead for long, as a 3-pointer by Kelsey Terry put the Lakers back in front.
Clayton State stayed ahead until the final minute of play.